Fla. judge says SCOTUS would rule against health insurance mandate. In a hearing for the 20-state suit against the Obama administration over the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law’s requirement for Americans to buy health insurance, Judge Roger Vinson told the courtroom “It would be a giant leap for the Supreme Court to say that a decision to buy or not to buy is tantamount to activity,” referring to judicial precedence of the limitations of the commerce clause, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Medicare to incorporate predictive modeling to prevent fraud. Federal investigators will begin using computerized analyses to fight organized attempts to defraud the nation’s health care system, Dept. of Health & Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced during a visit to Boston yesterday, according to The Boston Globe. The technology is similar to the software that credit card companies and banks use to catch fraudsters. The Dept. of Justice recovered $2.5 billion from healthcare fraud for the 2010 fiscal year.
Stent salespeople bypassed hospital ban. Sales staff from stent maker Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) were often allowed inside a cardiac treatment room at St. Joseph Medical Center while patient procedures were being performed, despite a hospital ban, according to testimony from Dr. Mark Midei, who is the focus of a physician payment scandal, reports The Baltimore Sun.
Woman missing part of her brain isn’t afraid of anything. A woman who cannot feel fear because of a missing structure in her brain called the amygdala may help researchers find treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder, reports the BBC.
Sebelius downplays Va. judge’s ruling on healthcare reform. Healthcare reform rolls on despite a Virginia judge’s ruling that its individual mandate is unconstitutional, Dept. of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius tells a Boston audience, reports MassDevice.
Women anguish over Avastin pull. The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday moved toward revoking approval of the blockbuster cancer drug Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, drawing criticism for limiting treatment options for desperately ill women, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Analysts fret over Brilinta setback. The FDA has handed AstraZeneca a painful setback on its biggest late-stage pipeline prospect: Rather than approve the blood thinner Brilinta, the agency issued a response letter demanding a fresh round of data analysis from a late-stage trial, according to FierceBiotech.
Unraveling Medicaid would be foolish. Medicaid may not provide great access to care. But it does provide access — access its recipients very much need and that, according to research, has measurably improved their health, according to a column in The New Republic and Kaiser Health News.
Steere central to Pfizer drama. For all the chatter about the sudden departure of CEO Jeff Kindler, the Pfizer boardroom drama might focus on Bill Steere: As chairman emeritus for nearly a decade, the 73-year-old Steere has wielded tangible influence over the drug maker and its strategic direction, including the push for out-sized acquisitions, according to Pharmalot blog’s Ed Silverman.
Mass layoffs could hit record at hospitals. The most recent mass-layoff statistics for the hospital industry suggest that 2010 will be a near-record year, according to an American Medical News report on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics release.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.